Will-O'-The Wisp: Deadly Fairy Lights

Detail from an engraving by Josiah Wood Whymper from 'Phenomena of Nature', published in London in 1849 for the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. In marshy and boggy places, a light is sometimes seen to hover over the ground by night. Source: (ss

For thousands of years, people all over the world, but particularly in the British Isles, have reported seeing ghostly lights in the night forest and fields. It wasn't just the good British ale: The lights were real ... sort of. They looked just like a flame from a lantern, so nighttime travelers were often lured off their path to go see if the other person needed help. But that's when the trouble would start. The Will-o'-the-wisp, as the strange lights were called, were deceitful and dangerous. Let's see how.